Being aware of ones self and being in the present, focusing on one moment at a time is basically Mindfulness. There are many ways to practice mindfulness and what one might find helpful another may not.

Mindfulness is about taking hold of your mind and getting into the Wise Mind state.

Taking hold of your mind: “how” skills

Non-Judgmentally

“to take non-judgemental stance when observing, describing and and participating”

Judging = labelling or evaluating something as GOOD or BAD.
Mindfulness = not judging in this manner

Example –

What a person does – “good/bad person” = judging
– Consequences

Sometimes we use judging as a short-hand for describing consequences

Note –

a) Judging is sometimes a short-hand way of comparing to a standard – but – people forget it is a judgement and treat it as a fact.
b) Terms “good” and “bad” can be harmful – have people applied judgements to you when you felt neither “good” or “bad”?
c) Some people are paid to judge but most people overdo it – especially about themselves.
d) Sometimes judgements masquerade as facts – e.g. I am fat (depends on how you say it).

See but dont evaluate. Take a non judgemental stance. Just the facts. Focus on the “what” not the good or bad, the terrible, the should or should not. Unglue your opinions from the facts, from the who what when where. Accept each moment, each event as a blanket spread out on the lawn accepts bother the rain and the sun, each leaf that falls upon it. Acknowledge the helpful, the whoseome but dont judge it, acknowledge the harmdful, the unwholesome but dont judge it.

When you find yourself judging, dont judge your judging.

One Mindfully

“focus on one thing at a time with awareness, with the whole person on the task”

1) This is opposite to how most of us operate – think of examples of doing two things at once.
2) Worry when you are worrying – set a time aside to worry
3) Undivided attention – opposites to mindfulness
– mindless/automatic behaviours
– distracted behaviour

Do one thing at a time. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are having a bath, bathe. Etc Do each thing with all of your attention. If other actions or other thoughts or strong feelings distract you, let go of the distractions and go back to what you are doing, again and again. Concentrate your mind, if you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.

Effectively

“focus on what works rather than ‘right or wrong’.”

1) Know what your goal is. Keep an eye on your objectives in the situation and do what is necessary to achieve them
2) Knowing thing actual situation rather than what is should be. Act skillfully as you can, meeting the needs of the situation you are in not the situation you wish you where in; not the one that is just; not the one that is more comfortable; not the one that…
3) Play by the rules – opposite is ‘cut your nose to spite your face’
4) Being ‘political’ or savey about people – taking people where they are and go from there e.g. visiting another country.
5) Sometimes requires sacrificing principles to achieve a goal. Do what needs to be done in each situation, stay away from ‘fair’ and ‘unfair’, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘should’ and ‘should not’
6) Letting go of vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness that hurts you and doesnt work.

Source: Linehan, M. Skills training manual for treating borderline personality disorder. 1st. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1994. Print.

Being aware of ones self and being in the present, focusing on one moment at a time is basically Mindfulness. There are many ways to practice mindfulness and what one might find helpful another may not.

Mindfulness is about taking hold of your mind and getting into the Wise Mind state.

You can do this by using “What” Skills.

Observe

This is about just noticing the EXPERIENCE but without getting caught in the experience. Being aware of the experience and knowing where you are. Having a TEFLON MIND, letting thoughts, feelings and experiences come into your mind and slip right back out again. CONTROLLING your attention but not what you see, push away nothing and cling to nothing. Being like a guard, ALERT to every thought, feeling and action that comes through your mind. Stepping inside yourself and WATCHING your thoughts and feelings coming and going, noticing everything. Noticing what comes through your SENSES.

Describe

“Thoughts on their own are just thoughts until you judge them. Once you have a thought, notice it as a thought, once you judge it you then have a choice what to do”

Put words onto the experience – label what your experiencing. When a feeling or thought arises or you do something, acknowledge it, describe what you are doing so if you are walking say my foot is hitting the floor, step step step. A thought that this is silly has just come into my mind so describe the thought but don’t judge it.

Put experiences into words. Describe what is happening to yourself, put a name on your feelings, so if your feeling sad say i have noticed i am feeling sad. Call a thought a thought, a feeling a feeling. Don’t get caught in the content.

Participate

Becoming one with your experience, completely forgetting yourself. Entering into your experiences, becoming involved in the moment and letting go of ruminating. Acting intuitively from wise mind, doing what is just needed in each situation. Actively practising your skills as you learn them until they become a part of you, where you use them without self consciousness.

Source: Linehan, M. Skills training manual for treating borderline personality disorder. 1st. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1994. Print.

This is something that I learnt in Living Skills Group recently and it works brilliantly for me.

TIPP SKills: Changing your body chemistry through reducing extreme emotions fast.

T – TIP THE TEMPERATURE of your face with COLD WATER – to calm down fast
– Holding your breath place your face in a bowl of cold water or hold a cold pack (zip lock bag of cold water) on your eyes and cheeks.
– Hold for 30 seconds. Keep water above 50F or 10c

I – INTENSE EXERCISE – to calm down your body when it is revved up by emotion
– Engage in intense exercise, if only for a short while
– Expand your bodys stored up physical energy by running, walking fast, jumping, playing basketball, lifting weights etc.

P – PACED BREATHING – pace your breathing by slowing it down
– Breathe deeply into your belly
– Slow your pace on inhaling and exhaling way down on average 5/6 breaths per minute
– Breathe out more slowly than you breathe in e.g. 5 seconds in and 7 seconds out

P – PAIRED MUSCLE RELAXATION – to calm down by pairing muscle relaxation with breathing out
– While breathing into your belly deeply tense your body muscles but not to cause a cramp
– Notice the tension in your body
– While breathing out, say the word ‘relax’ in your mind
– Let go of the tension
– Notice the difference in your body

***** Caution: Very cold water decreases your heart rate rapidly. Intense exercise will increase your heart rate. Consult your health care provider before using these skills if you have heart or medical condition, a lowered base heart rate due to medications, take a beta-blocker, are allergic to the cold or have an eating disorder.

Wake up will I be normal today
With racing thoughts going so fast
Up and down my moods shift
Minutes and Hours rapidly change

I can be happy but then a sudden flash
And rage pure and evil
I love you yet I hate you too
Set myself up for the hurt

I go by perceived perception
That is my truth that is what I believe
Logic and rational behaviour does not exist
Wear my emotions on my sleeve

I cant control how I feel
This is all I know how to be
Yes I want to try to be different
But how can you change who you are

I hate when I’m left alone
I feel like ive been abandoned
Family hurt me
Rejected never did I fit in

I cry with the slightest thing
Hate criticism even praise
Dont like to be judged
I do that myself

Used to hurt myself because I need punishment
Its the only way I can cope
Cant do that anymore
Have to be responsible

No one likes me anyway
Why should I care my head shouts
Yet my heart whispers you do
I suffer every day

People are out to get me
Hurt me and destroy who I am
No one can I trust
Yet I long for to be loved

When I feel threatened by others
I panic and fear takes over
My heart races and it hurts
Adrenalin overwhelms my body

When I cry its with such force
I struggle for breath and hyperventilate
My world comes crashing down around me
And all I want to do is hide away

Try to fit in and will do anything
Lie to make me seem right
Manipulative, I don’t want to be alone
Hate everything that I am

Who am I I constantly ask
No identity, empty inside
Need to be someone else to be liked
Run away from myself

Impulsive nature, spend like no tomorrow
I laugh yet cry at the same time
Change my look, everything just to be liked
Impressionable to a severe degree

So scared of being rejected and abandoned
I twist everything I hear, perceived to be hatred for me
Up go the barriers must protect myself
Hurt those I most care about

Only those who really know me
See this for what it really is
Those who don’t just see an emotional wreck
An un-repairable write off.

©www.battlingbpd.org

its been a while since anything was posted on this website and for that I am sorry. I want to start to update and use this blog on a daily basis. If there are any topics you would like me to write about then let me know and i will do my best to do so.

So whats been going on with me… Im currently doing a Living skills group course. Its a 7 week long course and is basically a mini dbt course. It focuses on the four main components of DBT but in smaller less detailed modules. So far we have done Distress Tolerance and Mindfulness. I’ll go into this in more detail in another post.

Ive had ups and downs with my mood, came off meds and now back on them, lost friendships and gained friendships. Ive tried so hard to keep to my goal of if i feel someone is going to reject/abandon me then i take a step back and try and see the bigger picture, find out all the facts first and then make an all rounded decision, but its been more difficult lately and thats been a huge struggle for me and that Ive reacted in ways that im not pleased about. I told myself that I wouldnt use facebook as a weapon or as a place to vent things like this, because I know the reaction it can cause can be destructive even further. Yet I used facebook as a place to vent and to air my views on a certain subject and that was wrong even though the people who did comment helped me alot and i thanked them for it afterwards in a seperate post to the original one as i deleted that, i cant help but think what on earth the rest of the people on my facebook thought of me that day, did this cause their opinion on me to differ, did they just see things how i saw it and saw the hurt that i was feeling or did they think something else altogether. I’ll never know.

Things are changing and there is nothing i can do about it, I know these changes have been coming for some time now. My son who may have some form of Autism is going to school in September, so I have been working hard to try and get all the support in place for him and finally met his teacher this past monday and she seems lovely, spoke to his SENCO and she has put some worries Ive had at ease. So Im in the transitioning phase of getting my son ready for school and gently telling him that he will not be going to his preschools after we go on holiday.

Im finding alot of the trauma that i thought I had left behind years ago is coming back. All of it is including my mother and what she did to me, how she treated me and the emotions and feelings and thoughts that are coming with it all, whilst I no longer self harm I find myself wanting to find ways to self destruct in hope that I can cope with what my mind has decided now is the time that I remember it all again.

Feel like Im going backwards yet again, I just start getting somewhere and my mind says nope not done yet here have this. I know they (whoever they are) say when life throws you lemons, make lemonade but dammit there is only so much lemonade you can make!!

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